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Displaying items by tag: Harland & Wolff

#STENA SALE SHIP- Irish Sea ferry stalwart Stena Caledonia (1981/12,619grt) has been sold to ASDP Ferry of Indonesia according to Ships Monthly. The vessel remains moored in Belfast awaiting her delivery voyage, which will be the longest ever she is to undertake in her career, writes Jehan Ashmore.

All Stena Line funnel and hull markings of the 31-year old vessel have been painted out and she has been renamed Portlink and re-registered in Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia.

Since late November she stood down following the switch of Scottish ferryport from Stranraer to Cairnryan, where a new £80m Loch Ryan Port ferry terminal is served by two newly introduced and luxuriously refurbished sisters Stena Superfast VII and Stena Superfast VIII. The pair built in Germany in 2001 have successfully been introduced on the new Belfast-Cairnryan route. 

Initially the Stena Caledonia was laid-up in Belfast at Albert Quay though in recent months she shifted berths to the former Outfit Quay at Harland & Wolff, ironically this location being very close to the facilities Musgrave Yard, where she built as St. David for Sealink / British Rail.

She became the last vessel to be launched from that particular yard on Queens Island and historically she is significant in that she is the last passenger (including car-ferry) vessel to be built by H&W.

Published in Ferry

#BELFAST LOUGH – The largest outdoor arts event ever seen in Northern Ireland is to take place tonight in Belfast at the iconic landmark venue of the £100m Titanic Belfast, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The spectacle is a combination of acrobatics, aerial dance, carnival, circus, music, multi-media and pyrotechnics. An audience of more than 20,000 people will be part of the 'Land of Giants' which takes its inspiration from 'giants' that are present in Northern Ireland's history, both ancient and modern.

Special focus will be given to four: Finn McCool, the giant who built the Giant's Causeway; Gulliver, whose giant features are outlined in the hills surrounding Belfast; Samson and Goliath, the two cranes that have dominated the Belfast skyline for the past 40 years; and the Titanic, together with her less famous sister ship, the Olympic.

This evening's event of theatre and performance is part of the Legacy Trust UK Community Celebrations and the London 2012 Festival, a 12 week UK-wide cultural celebration for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Published in Belfast Lough

#TITANIC MEMORIAL CRUISE  - Following Balmoral's recent call to Belfast in memory of Titanic, the Fred.Olsen Lines cruiseship returned to Southampton where today she started a 12-night Titanic Memorial Cruise which will follow the White Star Line liner's original itinerary that included calling to Queenstown, now Cobh.

Before Balmoral calls to Cobh tomorrow, she is to pass Cherbourg, where the passenger tender SS Nomadic served the liner that layed anchored offshore. The 101 year-old  tender was also built by Harlalnd & Wolff  and she is undergoing restoration work in Belfast, to read more about her click HERE.

Likewise to Balmoral's Belfast visit, her arrival to Cobh is the inaugural call for this year's season, though her poignant arrival will be two days short of Titanic's call a century ago on 11th April 1912.

On Titanic's second anchorage at Queenstown, this too required tenders to transfer 123 passengers who embarked from the town's pier and of those only 44 survived the disaster. The timber built pier still exists albeit what survives is in a derelict state. There have been calls to raise funds to save the structure as previously reported.

Along the scenic waterfront passengers can take a tour of the town's new Titanic Experience in the White Star Line building, the Queenstown Heritage Story in the Cobh Hertiage Centre and the walking Titanic Trails.

From Cobh the Balmoral will sail across the Atlantic, arriving at the Titanic site on April 14th/15th - exactly 100 years on from this tragic voyage, where a memorial service will be held to pay tribute to the brave passengers and crew who perished on that fateful night.

The cruise will then continue to Halifax, Nova Scotia, the final resting place of many who were on board, before sailing on to New York, the Titanic's ultimate planned destination.

Published in Titanic

#TITANIC'S TENDER - While all the attention is focused on the R.M.S. Titanic and the newly opened Titanic Belfast visitor experience, the White Star Line passenger tender SS Nomadic is only a stone's throw away from the venue, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Like the liner she was built by Harland & Wolff and her launch took place in 1911. She was commissioned by White Star Line as a 1st and 2nd class passenger tender for Titanic and sister Olympic.

The Nomadic carried out her duties based in Cherbourg, where she transferred passengers to the Titanic on her only call to the Normandy port. As such the vessel which is registered in the French port, is the last surviving White Star Line vessel in the world and the only remaining authentic link to the ill-fated liner.

Decades later, the Nomadic became a floating restaurant on the River Seine in Paris close to the Eiffel Tower, where the venture which started in 1977 remained formore than twenty years.

The ageing vessel faced new safety regulations threatening her fate which ultimately led to her being seized in 2002. She was then offered for sale and then followed a court action for her to be scrapped but a campaign was raised to save the historic vessel which succeeded in her securement.

At 95 years old she was towed by barge back to her builder's birthplace in Belfast in 2006. Now that she is over a century old the vessel is currently undergoing restoration by the SS Nomadic Charitable Trust. She is dry-docked in the Hamilton Dock which adjoins the new iconic landmark of the Titanic Belfast building within the developing Titanic Quarter.

Yesterday 'hard-hat' tours began of the preserved liner tender and it is essential to note that tickets are to be 'pre-booked' with the last tour on 15th April. Daily tours are at 10.30, 12 noon, 2pm and the last tour is 3.30pm. To ensure availability visit: www.nomadicbelfast.com/book-a-tour

For further information about the various visitor attractions and events click the following headings, to be directed to the relevant websites.

The history of the S.S. Nomadic

Go to Belfast

Titanic Belfast Festival (31 March -22 April)

Titanic Belfast Visitor Experience

Following yesterday's inaugural cruise call to Belfast this year of Balmoral as previously reported the Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines vessel was making a cruise in memory of the liner. To see the list of the other cruiseships calling  to the city, click HERE.

Published in Titanic

#TITANIC – The cruiseship Balmoral not only is the first caller to Belfast for 2012 as previously reported, but her arrival this morning marked more importantly as a cruise in the memory of the R.M.S. Titanic, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Cruise passengers embarked on the Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines ship last Tuesday in Southampton for a mini-cruise which included a call to Liverpool yesterday.

Today passengers where to visit the builders of the White Star Line liner launched a century ago at Harland & Wolff shipyard at Queens Island on the banks of the Lagan.

Adjoining the complex is the Titanic Quarter where the recently opened Titanic Belfast Visitor Experience is making an impression through the iconic landmark, for further details click HERE.

Published in Titanic

#LECTURES- The Old Dublin Society is to host a lecture 'R.M.S. Titanic – The True Story' which is to be presented by Ed Coghlan next  Wednesday (14th March) in Dublin City Library on Pearse Street.

The lecture starts at 6.30pm and will be held in the libraries Archive Conference Room. All are welcome to attend the lecture which is admission free. For further information about the society visit www.olddublinsociety.ie/ in addition the library by clicking HERE.

Published in Titanic

#TITANIC- In this centenary year of the R.M.S.Titantic's sinking, Fred Olsen Cruise Lines Balmoral is to include a port of call to Belfast Harbour, where passengers are to visit the Harland & Wolff shipyard, during an Easter mini cruise in early April, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Balmoral will be the first cruiseship to berth in Belfast this year and her passengers are to visit the world famous shipyard on Queens Island where the liner was built for the White Star Line.

In addition there will be opportunities to call to the Botanical Gardens,  Ulster Museum and Belfast Castle. The three-night mini-cruise starts in Southampton and is to include an en-route call to Liverpool, a former City of Culture.

For further information on other cruise calls to Belfast as previously reported on Afloat.ie click this HERE. In addition to the Titanic Walking Festival (31 March-22 April) as also reported click HERE

Published in Titanic

#FERRY NEWS- Stena Navigator which served on the former Belfast-Stranraer route, has been sold to overseas buyers. She was one of three ferries made redundant following the switch pf ports to a new ferry terminal  in Cairnryan and introduction of larger vessels, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Having only been introduced on the North Channel in late 2009, Stena Navigator (PHOTO) is now set to embark on a new career in the Mediterranean with Spanish operator Baleària. The company operates routes linking the islands to the Spanish mainland in addition to the Strait of Gibraltar, where the ferry is to start service.

The 1,650-passenger, 280-vehicle capacity vessel is currently berthed at Albert Quay, Belfast, before she makes her delivery voyage.

Launched in 1984 as Champs Elysees at Dubigeon Normandie, Nantes Saint Nazaire, for SNCF's Dover-Calais route. She then spent service Stena Line as Stena Parisien between Newhaven-Dieppe before been sold to SeaFrance. This saw her return to the Dover Strait as SeaFrance Manet until eventually sold back to Stena Line.

Berthed ahead of the 15,229grt ferry is her former fleetmate Stena Caledonia, built at the nearby Harland & Wolff and upriver the HSS Stena Voyager is berthed at VT4 Terminal. Since been laid-up the vessels were transferred to a Stena subsidiary, Northern Marine Management (NMM).

Published in Ferry
Cunard Line's flagship Queen Mary 2 docked at Cobh today, the 148,528 tonnes giant liner follows Queen Elizabeth which made her maiden call to Cork Harbour last Saturday, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Queen Mary 2 cost €549m and she is the only true 'liner' operating in the world today as she on occasions provides scheduled trans-Atlantic sailings between Southampton and New York. Some of these sailings include calling to Hamburg. In addition to this role she offers worldwide cruising. Her predecessor Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2) was sold several years to Dubai interests.

The current liner (QM2) can carry 2,620 passengers and a crew of over 1,200 on a vessel is the longest, tallest and widest of any passenger liner built. The luxury liner has private balconies for nearly 80 per cent of cabins and has an art collection worth £3.5m. To complement these works of art there is the first 'floating planetarium', the largest library at sea, boasting 8,000 hardbacks and also the largest ballroom to grace a ship on the oceans.

Queen Mary 2 was short-listed to be built in Belfast at the Harland & Wolff shipyard, but the contract went to Chantiers d'Atlantique, St. Nazaire on the west coast of France.

Her first visit to Irish waters occurred when she anchored off Dunmore East in 2005, the liner had arrived overnight on a passage from her homeport of Southampton and was on a nine-day cruise of British, Irish and Baltic state ports.

Today's Cobh visit of the 345m long Queen Mary 2 coincided with Ocean Countess, a former 'Cunarder', which is also in the port. The 163m vessel was built in 1976 and launched as their Cunard Countess. She weighs 17,593grt and has a 800 passenger capacity. Last year she joined Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV) fleet under charter from Majestic International Cruises Group.

Also at work in Cork Harbour was the excursion vessel Spirit of the Isles which apart from operating River Lee sight-seeing cruises between Cork city-centre and Cobh at the weekends, is running a charter cruise this afternoon to Spike Island. For information about sightseeing trips and chartering click HERE.

Published in Cruise Liners

The US-flagged replica tallship H.M.S. Bounty arrived into Belfast Lough this morning for the Belfast Titanic Maritime Festival (24-26 June), writes Jehan Ashmore.

Measuring some 200 tonnes, the three masted-replica ship of the original H.M.A.V Bounty where the famous mutiny against Captain William Bligh took place in Tahiti in 1789, is to open to the public.

The replica was constructed in Nova Scotia of the original Hull-built vessel for the 1962 MGM film 'Mutiny on the Bounty' starring Hollywood screen legend Marlon Brando.

The Bounty was also used in the filming of Pirates of the Caribbean II and a Lone Wolf Production Group documentary on Blackbeard and has featured in several documentaries.

'Bounty' will be open to visitors (for information www.tallshipbounty.org) and is to be accompanied by the Jubilee Sailing Trust's Lord Nelson (www.jst.org.uk/).

The festival venue is at the Queen's Quay, Abercorn Basin and Arc, behind the Premier Inn Hotel at the Titanic Quarter.

As for the Titanic, tours of the old main offices of the H&W shipyard on the Queen's Road courtesy of the Titanic Quarter Ltd will be open to the public with displays relating to Titanic and Edwardian Fashion.

In addition Titanic Bus Tours lasting two hours which are free are available from the Belfast Welcome Centre, to contact Tel: 028 9024 6609.

For a complete listing of the festival events, dates and opening hours go to www.belfastcity.gov.uk/maritimefestival/index.asp

Published in Maritime Festivals
Page 6 of 7

William M Nixon has been writing about sailing in Ireland and internationally for many years, with his work appearing in leading sailing publications on both sides of the Atlantic. He has been a regular sailing columnist for four decades with national newspapers in Dublin, and has had several sailing books published in Ireland, the UK, and the US. An active sailor, he has owned a number of boats ranging from a Mirror dinghy to a Contessa 35 cruiser-racer, and has been directly involved in building and campaigning two offshore racers. His cruising experience ranges from Iceland to Spain as well as the Caribbean and the Mediterranean, and he has raced three times in both the Fastnet and Round Ireland Races, in addition to sailing on two round Ireland records. A member for ten years of the Council of the Irish Yachting Association (now the Irish Sailing Association), he has been writing for, and at times editing, Ireland's national sailing magazine since its earliest version more than forty years ago

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